Leadership

Study: These Are the 20 Companies You Should Emulate

By / Sep 23, 2013 (Fuse/Thinkstock)

The world’s best leadership-focused companies both develop and reward the core skills that drive innovation, according to the Hay Group’s annual study. This year, Procter & Gamble heads its list.

If you’re looking for examples of companies to emulate in your association, look no further than Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and General Electric.

The three companies topped the Hay Group’s eighth annual “Best Companies for Leadership” study, which ranks the best leadership-focused companies globally, focusing on the way the companies nurture talent and foster innovation. More than 18,000 individuals from 2,200 organizations took part in the study and were asked to assess the leadership-development practices at their own organizations on a series of descriptive items.

“The Best Companies for Leadership recognize that many of the skills once required solely for senior leadership roles–high levels of emotional intelligence, commitment to continuous learning, analytical thinking–are now critical at every level of the organization,” said Ruth Malloy, global managing director of Hay Group’s leadership and talent practice and coleader of the study, in statement.

“To excel in today’s highly complex and competitive business environment, the best companies are taking deliberate steps to develop and reward these competencies to enable their organizations to achieve operational excellence today, while driving innovation for tomorrow,” Malloy noted.

Though Procter and Gamble took the top spot in the 2013 study, a case could be made that the real winner was runner-up Microsoft. It rose to No. 2 after dropping out of the global Top 20 altogether in 2007. Microsoft cracked the list again in 2010 at No. 12, and the company’s ranking has been rising ever since. (That said, its leadership hasn’t been immune to criticism in that time.)

What Makes a Company Great

So, what are the practices that put them and the others on the list on top? The study found that 82 percent of the ranked companies use rewards or reprimands that are based on rigorous measurements of performance against goals, compared with only 58 percent of all other companies. Also, the survey data show 89 percent of those in the Top 20 encourage employees to set challenging or aggressive goals, as opposed to 69 percent of other companies.

In addition, 76 percent of the Top 20 companies reward and stimulate collaboration across business units to develop new business lines, compared with only 54 percent of all other companies. The study also found that Top 20 companies were more likely to encourage workers’ learning outside of their areas of expertise than other companies (70 percent to 48 percent) and to recognize and reward them for fresh, innovative business ideas (77 percent to 58 percent).

The full list of Top 20 companies is available on the Hay Group’s website.

Daniel Ford

Daniel Ford is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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